Rhynhart beats Butkovitz in controller’s race upset

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Rhynhart, after speaking with Butkovitz late Tuesday, said her message of modernizing city government and taking on "entrenched political interests" like the Philadelphia Parking Authority resonated with voters. 

"I'm not part of the political machine," she said. "I want to make tough calls, better financial calls. I think we can save a lot of money."

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Election shakeup

In a shocking and lopsided upset, challenger Rebecca Rhynhart defeated City Controller Alan Butkovitz in the Democratic primary on Tuesday night.

“I guess somebody should find Rebecca’s phone number,” Butkovitz said as he arrived outside Randi’s Restaurant and Bar, in Bustleton, shortly after 9:30 p.m.

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Rebecca Rhynhart Unseats Incumbent City Controller Alan Butkovitz

Democrat Rebecca Rhynhart defeated incumbent city controller Alan Butkovitz in an upset victory on Tuesday, earning 58 percent of the vote with 90 percent of precincts reporting.

Rhynhart’s success in the primary election is yet another sign that the power of the city’s Democratic machine is waning. Butkovitz, a ward leader and decades-long politician, was endorsed by the local Democratic Party.

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City Controller race: Butkovitz to tackle soda tax, Rhynhart to examine PPA & push for transparency

"The way I view the City Controller role, if every department were looked at not just in terms of fraud, but in terms of how do we modernize, how do we move towards best practices, millions and millions of dollars can be saved," she continued, noting some city departments still use typewriters to process forms. "That's real money."

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